Friday, June 20, 2014

The cost of Ghostkeeper 2

Now that we're attempting to fund GKPR 2, the discussion of how much should the movie cost. In other words, how much should we budget for the movie. Let's go back to the beginning;

The original GKPR cost around $650,000 way back in 1980. This was a union shoot in that we used the Director's Guild rates and the IATSE rates. IATSE is the other union and the letters stand for International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and they cover the majority of the crew. At that time I belonged to the DGC (Director's Guild of Canada) and WGC (Writer's Guild of Canada).


And I haven't mentioned the actor's guild which in Canada is ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.) It's SAG in the U.S. (Screen Actor's Guild).

So, that's a union shoot, otherwise a producer can make a movie without any of the union members if the budget is low. Often members of unions will take a non-union shoot just to make some money rather than stay home. This is frowned upon of course, but more and more, it's happening in both the U.S. and Canada.

Now for GKPR 2.

The budget we have for the new version of GKPR is approximately $2 million dollars. 

For the same movie!

What happened?

Well, it's the cost of living. GKPR 1 cost $650k but translated into the value of a dollar today it comes out to just over $2 million.  So what does this mean?

You were making a good wage of around $4/hr in 1980 but today the minimum wage is around $11/hr and certainly not even close to a good wage.

But trying to fund a movie for $2 million is difficult because too many movies now are being made for far less due to technical advances in the way of digital filmmaking. One well-known filmmaker, Ed Burns, made a movie for $9000. 

Nine thousand dollars!

Okay, it didn't have special effects nor a big cast but he made it and it's a good movie. It's called Newlyweds, and you should see it. He used actors, a cameraman, an editor and that's about it. 

So where did we decide to go in terms of cost?

How about $1.6 million.

You're probably getting really confused. Why $1.6?

We, being myself and producer Joe Thornton had a few disagreements as to how much the film should cost; I wanted it under $1 million and Joe felt it should be more. We finally settled on $1.6 million for specific reasons.

I thought I'd give you a little rest from all these numbers, so I'll continue the frustrations of funding a movie and what it will cost and why.

Have a good weekend.

And thanks to the Ukrainian readers of this blog; I hope it gives you some insight into my Canadian/American life.


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